How to Get Your Apple Watch Up and Running

by

If you are one of the lucky few to receive your Apple Watch on launch day, you are probably excitedly going through the steps to setting up and customizing your device. With a completely new operating system to get used to, we’ve got a couple of tips for getting your Apple Watch ready for daily use.

Apple Watch Overview

Apple Watch Front

Apple yesterday released a user guide for its wrist-worn device that provides a detailed overview of the case for those who aren't yet familiar with various features. For starters, you can easily identify the Digital Crown/Home button on the side of the watch case. Press it to go to the Home screen while viewing an app, or to display the watch face.

You can also double-click the Digital Crown to access your most recently used app. To activate Siri, press and hold it. Zoom in and out or scroll by turning the crown.

The side button, which sits just below the Digital Crown is used to show or hide friends, turn on or off Apple Watch, and access Apple Pay (with a double-click).

Apple Watch Back

The back side of the case houses the speaker, heart rate sensor, and microphone. You will also be able to remove your watch band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of the case.

Setting Up Apple Watch

  1. Charge Apple Watch (if it needs it). Your watch should generally arrive with at least 50 percent charge to get you going right out of the box.
  2. Press the Home button on the Digital Crown to start up the watch and following the prompts to select a language and proceed.
  3. Pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
  4. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone to access your apps and customize your experience. During the setup process, you will be asked whether you want to automatically install all Apple Watch-compatible apps or manually select apps for installation.

Customizing Apple Watch

The Apple Watch app on your iPhone lets you customize notifications, app layout, and more. You can also use it to set up Apple Pay and access the App Store so you can download compatible Apple Watch apps. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap "My Watch" to access the customizable settings.

For Apple Pay, you'll need to set up each card manually as you did on your iPhone, and the process will generally involve a confirmation step such as an activation code sent via email/text or a call to your bank to verify each card for use. Once your cards are set up, you can use Apple Pay from your watch even without your iPhone present.

Fine-Tune Apple Watch Settings

You may want to tweak the settings a bit if you discover that the alerts are too loud, the text is too small, or the screen is too bright, so head to the Settings app to make these adjustments.

Brightness and TextAdjust Brightness

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap the Brightness symbol.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust.
  5. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch

Adjust Text Size

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Brightness & Text Size.
  3. Tap Text Size.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to increase or decrease the size of the font
  5. Toggle the Bold Text switch to the On position to make text bold. Apple Watch will reset after turning on or off Bold Text.
  6. Or, access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

Sound and HapticsAdjust Sound

You can increase or decrease the volume of the ringer and alerts on Apple Watch, or mute everything.

  1. On Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Tap the volume button under Ringer and Alert Sounds.
  4. Turn the Digital Crown to adjust the volume.
  5. To mute Apple Watch, toggle the mute switch to the On position.
  6. You can also mute Apple Watch by swiping up on the watch face. Swipe to the Settings glance, then tap the mute button.
  7. Or, Access the settings from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone under My Watch.

You can quickly mute a new alert or notification sound by placing the palm of your hand over the watch display and holding it there for three seconds. This feature is great when you forget to silence your Apple Watch before going into a meeting.

You must turn the feature on to use it.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  4. Toggle the Cover to Mute switch to the On position.

Settings GlanceTurn on Do Not Disturb

You can silence every aspect of Apple Watch, including screen lighting, using Do Not Disturb. You can specify a time period for the feature to turn on and off, designate certain contacts that can be filtered through, and quickly flip it on for a temporary silence.

  1. Swipe up on the watch face
  2. Swipe left or right to access the Settings glance.
  3. Tap the Do Not Disturb button.
  4. Or, on Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
  5. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  6. Toggle the switch to the On position.

Do Not Disturb MirroringYou can also silence both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

  1. Open Apple Watch app on iPhone
  2. Tap My Watch.
  3. Turn on Do Not Disturb.
  4. Then, turn on Mirror iPhone.
  5. Any time you change Do Not Disturb on iPhone or Apple Watch, the other will match it.

As a brand-new platform, there is a lot for users to learn about Apple Watch, and it takes some getting used to with multiple types of interaction methods. This guide is just a starting point for after you take it out of the box and before you leave the house, and we’ll keep you updated with more how-to guides to help you get the most out of your Apple Watch.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
69 months ago
Step first: Receive your Apple Watch in June.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
I thought the first step to getting it up and running is to post in 25 threads how your order placed mere seconds after pre-orders opened still hasn't shipped.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
Just learnt that a screen grab is possible with both buttons :-)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago

Anyone think we should fully charge before powering on at all? I realize it will still charge powered on, but just curious...


Won't matter!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
I love mine already and I prefer to discover new gadgets just by myself without any guide. Thats why I didn't watch the Apple guides.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
I love my Space Gray 42mm so far. I have to say the band is far far better than I thought it would be (Black Floroelastemer), it's extremely comfortable. I hardly even feel like I'm wearing a watch were most of them bug the crap out of me (band wise).

The haptic feedback scared me at first lol. Felt weird. It's enjoyable now though each time I get a message. I almost want to enable a ton of notifications from more apps just so I can get it to do this more often haha. I currently have it set to just the notifications that are most important such as texts, bill reminders, calls, and such.

Great product and I can see getting an enormous amount of use out of it, happy I was able to get it on launch day!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...